Channel: Paper RSS Feed
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Behold: Kanye West's Glorious Interpretation of the Robot


Kanye West is keeping busy in Paris. Upon arriving, he dyed Kim Kardashian's hair blonde, went to goth prom with Lorde, and has even had time to perform music during his residency at the Foundation Louis Vuitton. On the first night of his residency, Kanye premiered the Steve McQueen-directed video for "All Day" and then the next night Yeezus decided to try something different: he danced. He danced the robot, to be exact. It was (is and will remain) beautiful. Watch Kanye's interpretation of the timeless, awkward dance move, in all it's glory, above.

[h/t The Fader]

Kris Jenner's Paris Fashion Week Looks Are All Kim K-Approved

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 12.56.03 PM.pngPhoto by Joe Schildhorn /BFAnyc.com

Kris Jenner scored points with beleaguered mothers whose offspring criticize their clothing choices everywhere last December, when she posted an email from daughter Kim Kardashian to her Instagram calling her out for recycling herPeter-Pan-collared shirt dress.

"I love u mom, but no more pilgrim Adams (sic) family outfits," Kardashian wrote. "You have exhausted this look. Done. Move on. We need chic, tight dresses, not this omish (sic) shit anymore."


Still, as of late there's been nary an Addams Family look in sight for Jenner, who we chatted with at the Givenchy Paris Fashion Week show yesterday. Does she think Kim had a point about her Amish shit?  

"I show her my looks now and she helps me out," says Jenner. "Riccardo sent me some things over from Givenchy, which was so lovely. On the way here, Kim was actually complimenting me. She said, 'Mom, you've had the greatest fashion week!'"

Jenner says she has to step-up her fashion game when she's not in Calabasas.

"We can walk around in L.A. in workout attire after the gym and get away with it. The other day I was in the gym here at the hotel and thought about running out to pick something up and then thought,  'Don't you dare!' So I got a little bit of glam pulled together and put a nice outfit before I went out. And it felt better."

We're all for dressing up to run an errand, but Jenner should just go full slobcore and ride the athleisure wave. This could be you, Kris, but Kim's playing.


Listen to Woodkid's New Track With Lykke Li


The soundtrack for Insurgent, the sequel to last year's Divergent (really), isnt out until March 17th but you can now stream the film's woozy Woodkid ballad "Never Let You Down" featuring Lykke Li. The soundtrack also includes the M83/Haim collaboration "Holes in the Sky" but, sadly, Li's cover of "Just Hold On We're Going Home" didn't make it on. We can't have everything. Listen above.

Listen to Kendrick Lamar's Freestyle Tribute to Notorious B.I.G


On the anniversary of Notorious B.I.G's death, Kendrick Lamar visited Big Boy's radio show and dropped an eviscerating freestyle over Biggie's "The What." With references to surveillance and police violence, Kendrick's bars are undeniably political -- but did he also sneak in an Empire "Drip Drop" reference up top? Hopefully! Listen to Kendrick Lamar's freestyle, via Revolt, above.

Watch A$AP Ferg's New Video, "This Side"


We will never be sick of A$AP Ferg. This is a good thing, since the rapper just keeps rolling out music videos for tracks off last year's mixtape Ferg Forever (see the previous videos HERE and HERE). The newest installment, for YG-collab "This Side," is pretty much just a compilation of hectic, red-filtered clips with Ferg and YG on- and off-stage. But we're not ungrateful. If you can stomach the loops of flashing lights, you'll probably end the video amped up and nodding along -- and maybe with only a slight headache. The price you pay.

Ciara's Back With a New Video For Break-Up Track "I Bet," And, Damn.


Following her split from fiance Future last fall, former Paper cover girl Ciara is back with a new LP Jackie, and the brand new video for the album's raw break-up single "I Bet." Watch above as Ciara, who uses the image of the ballerina as one of physical strength, shows off her gams for days and generally eats her ex's new girlfriend, a "bitch .. with a silicon ass and the Brazilian hair" for dinner. Bye, Future. 

Zoolander and Hansel Made a Triumphant Return to the Catwalk


Zoolander and Hansel brought the heat -- and the return of Blue Steel -- at the Valentino show earlier today at Paris Fashion Week. As the brand describes, "Derek wears a custom Night Butterflies brocade suit with hand-embroidered overcoat and black Creeper shoes. Hansel wears a Silk Continent print Pajama suit with Double Cashmere overcoat and Open sneakers." While the twosome are practically geezers in the male modeling world, their subtle pursed lips and on-point dead-eyed stare proves they've still got it.

Update: Sites are also speculating that the show might be part of Zoolander 2, which is said to start filming in Rome sometime this spring and will open in theaters on February 12, 2016.   

Who Knew Kim Kardashian's Tweets Would Be the Hottest Mixtape of 2015?


Prolific tweeter Kim Kardashian has always kept us up to the moment with exactly what's going on in her life. If she's at the zoo with her boo and her baby boo or if her husband's on the verge of getting an ill-advised face tattoo, you'll know about it. Her Twitter presence isn't lacking anything, per se, but after watching Bette Midler turn Kim K's tweets into song, it's like we've finally seen the light. Watch Bette Midler transform Kim Kardashian's most banal tweets into the most fire lounge set of 2015, above.

Nicki Minaj Adds a Sweet Verse To Maroon 5's "Sugar"


Nicki Minaj's general presence tends to improve everything (see: Monster, life) and her verse on the "Sugar" remix is no exception. Minaj adds some short-but-sweet bars to the Maroon 5 song and our only complaint is that she's gone too soon. Listen to the "Sugar" remix, above.

Goth on Trial: Paul Ruebens Defends "Chimera and Gargoyle" in New Portlandia Clip

You'll need a whole pack of lung-shredding Djarums to make it through this week's Portlandia, in which the town's lovable got couple Vince and Jacqulin (favorite aliases: Chimera and Gargoyle) are accused of vandalizing a string of taxidermy shops. In a defense worthy of Atticus Finch, their lawyer pleads that "being weird is not a crime" -- especially poignant since the lawyer is played by Paul Ruebens

Watch the clip, below, while lighting up a clove and listening to Einstürzende Neubauten.

SNL'S Vanessa Bayer Gives Sleater Kinney The Worst/Best Advice


Saturday Night Live star Vanessa Bayer also moonlights as Janessa Slater (nice.) on Above Average's web series "Sound Advice," now on IFC. As the world's worst publicist she gives advice to bands on how they can improve their image and this time she gives the media coach treatment to Sleater-Kinney. After figuring out who they actually are ("As an all-girl band, how many mysteries have you solved? This seems like a Nancy Drew kinda team."), Janessa tries to parse out the concept of feminism: "Guys are running this place, but we can do stuff too! For every monster truck and every Lamborghini or whatever, there's also a flower shop. We're all just little riot girls, you know?" Uhh, yeah, sure. One day she'll sort out who Susan B. Anthony is, but for now we'll pray for her.

Watch the clip above, via IFC.

Damian Szifron on God, Violence and His Batshit Masterpiece Wild Tales

damian szifron 1big.jpg
If there were an Oscar for Most Cathartic Motion Picture, Damián Szifrón's Wild Tales, whose six vignettes have induced cringing, choked laughing and, on the festival circuit last year, rapturous closing-credits cheering, would win fists-down. The 39-year-old filmmaker might be getting tired of hearing the word "cathartic" and getting concerned looks at talkbacks, although such reactions are understandable given the film's visceral variations on revenge -- it opens with a man flying an airplane, loaded with everyone who's ever slighted him, into his own parents. We met up with Szifron (who is as pleasant as his creation is bestial) back in January, shortly before Wild Tales was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar; within minutes, it became clear that the film is not revenge porn, but a cri de coeur against the personal and political barriers that block human curiosity.

What makes some of your characters go over the edge while others, like the waitress in "Las Ratas," refrain?

We are evolved animals. We have the instincts, and then above the instincts we have emotions, and above emotions we have reason. And we have to manage to combine all those aspects of us for a joyful life. As reasonable beings we have the ability of repressing our instincts. It's a good thing, but sometimes you just want to kill somebody or you just want to fuck somebody.


I mean, you have to live with the hate and turn it into something else. Me, as a writer, I can do something with my anger. I can use it as fuel for fiction and invent things, but most people don't have that tool, so the anger and the frustration just causes depression and sometimes causes somebody to explode. And this is a film about the people that explode.

And of course we could both name tons of artists who also have violent personalities. Are you able to channel all those brutal urges into your work?

I wouldn't say all of it, no. [laughs] But some of it, yes. And it truly helps. Art is a form of therapy -- the ability of turning the negativity into something positive and into something that you can share with others. That's wonderful. I think that it's not only wonderful but natural to our species. I don't know any kid that doesn't like to draw or to sing or hear music. All the kids dance. And society doesn't pay attention to that and tries to to force a lot of people to repress their natural tendencies to... art? Is that right?

That's right.

But art is not an invention; it's an extension of our emotions.

Have you found that, wherever you go, people are having guttural reactions to the movie?

Yes. Of course, it's not easy for an Argentinean film to attract people to a theater. But once people go to the theater, they come out like, "Yes!" There's a great amount of energy that's released through this film.

What's the most surprising question that's come at you at a Q&A?

Sometimes they ask me if I am normal, you know? "Are you okay?" "Are you feeling well?" [laughs] So that makes an impression on me because I am normal. But perhaps they think I'm this serial killer.

For a movie that has such elemental feelings of revenge and anger, I don't think there's a single mention of religion, of God.

I mean, my first memories of being inside a movie theater are of watching Superman, and I remember the stars. So I love stars since Superman. And then my father was this huge cinephile, and also he was interested in science and the big questions. He opened a lot of doors for me, because he told me that there were a lot of things that nobody knew how they happened. Sometimes, when you're a kid and you want to know, "How did mankind start?" you go to the church or to -- I'm a Jew -- to temple, and hear, "God invented the world and he created first the animals..." So they put walls around your curiosity by answering things that nobody knows yet. And my father was very smart in that sense. He told me, "No, no -- I don't know. Nobody knows." So so we would watch the Cosmos series with Carl Sagan and read stuff and investigate. But of course that curiosity opened the space for something that we could call God. And I definitely believe there's something more than what we can understand. And I feel that we are designed, in a way, by somebody. I can imagine there are, like, blueprints for mosquitoes and for human beings, because I can't avoid thinking of the relationship between a heart and a battery. You know there's the thump thump thump, and it gives you energy and fuel. And your relationship between your eyes and the camera, and your ears and the microphone. 


I would love to have a society in which human beings are dedicated just to think about those things -- our existence, our origins, what are we here for -- instead of paying taxes and making money to buy a new iPhone... all that distracts you and obviously benefits a very few concentrated groups. The whole system is not designed for the majority. The characters in Wild Tales are not conscious about how the system works, and they suffer the consequences. And they're losing time in things they don't care about. This guy discussing the fee with the tow truck, you know? Or this woman being married to show the rest of her family and the people that she's successful and that she achieved what she's supposed to achieve, but the relationship is not real. So they're spending all their lives in a place that they don't like. And I think that's a reflection of millions of people who just waste their lives. I think there are very few people that do what they love. And you do what you do all the day and then you go to sleep so you can keep doing it. So it's very important to love what you do. 

The film is also dedicated to your father.

Ah, yeah. Because he died a few years ago. And yeah he was my film school and my best friend.

Now there's talk about doing American projects. Do you see yourself spending more time here or do you want to stay down in Buenos Aires?

I mean, first I have to say that I truly love American cinema. For me cinema is cinema; it doesn't belong to a country. And actually American cinema that we all love was made from people outside the country. A lot of directors came from Europe; I mean, Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Vincente Minnelli, Fritz Lang. For me, it's a natural thing because it's the movies that truly made an impact for me. I would say all of them, or most of them, were made here in the US. Wild Tales is opening a lot of doors for me. I received a lot of invitations to work here, and so I think I'm going to accept some of them. Yes. Why not?

Checking In With 10 Buzz Bands From the Early 2000s Indie Rock Renaissance

No matter what the context, the game of "Where Are They Now?" is a dangerous one to play. More often than not, people are looking to engage in the kind of cruel nostalgia that makes Dead or Alive? celebrity name games such a perennial favorite. But somewhere in between mean-spirited rubbernecking and doe-eyed sentimentality lives a genuine interest for people and things that went out of our lives too quickly -- or not quickly enough.

Ask music listeners of a certain age, and you'll no likely be directed back the early-to-mid-00s, a time when we seemed so confused by the idea of young people picking up guitars again and starting rock bands that we didn't know what to call it. So we called it everything: the new rock resurgence, the garage rock revival, the indie rock renaissance. There we offshoots like dance-punk, nu-rave and post post-punk, and our fascination with bullshit genre nicknaming persists to this day. It was exhausting, silly and terribly exciting. The era produced dozens upon dozens of bands off all different stripes, visionaries and posers and also-rans alike. Some died heroes, others lived long enough to see themselves become Kings of Leon. And while we all know what happened to the Strokes, Interpol, the Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the White Stripes, so many others were forgotten, or slipped through the cracks, or went on to have surprisingly substantial careers. Featured here are 10 acts that you might not have crossed your mind very recently, but in their own little corners of the buzz-band boom of the new millennium were more noteworthy than time has given them credit for.

Art Brut
When Art Brut's debut was released in 2005, there was no shortage of guitar bands with Camel Light-throated dudes at the fore. But a shaggy haircut and a thrift store habit does not a great frontman make, and that lack of charisma was becoming increasingly felt. Enter Eddie Argos, who with his troupe of merry pranksters made a huge splash with Bang Bang Rock & Roll, a punk rock record as cheeky and virile as the band's leader himself. Despite Argos' plainspoken delivery, his magnetic presence was felt as much offstage as it was on (from begging the UK to let him represent them at the Eurovision song contest to having a Berlin university dedicate a lecture to his lyrics), and a decade later, that spark is still present. "We've always just sort of done what we wanted, with little or no thought towards our career," he says. "Not sure that's necessarily been a good thing, but it's definitely a defining feature of our band." Though Art Brut have only four proper albums to their name (plus the best-of compilation Top of the Pops), Argos has kept a pace that few of his peers can lay claim to. He's done stints in other bands (most notably Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now!), written comic books ("superheroes and rhyming things" are Argos' "two greatest passions") and enjoyed a career as a painter. An art exhibition in Austin, a new comic and song work for films are all keeping him busy, as well as a fifth Art Brut album. "I'm really liking FIDLAR and Parquet Courts (or Parkay Quarts) at the moment. Those are the bands that are making me itch to get a new record out. I'm sure other people are hearing those records too and starting bands." When asked about Art Brut's role in the "new rock" resurgence, he's a little more ambivalent. "After being so many different things, being in any sort of scene just feels fabricated. Saying that, I suppose 'the indie renaissance' wasn't really a scene. We were just lucky to be starting out with our indie guitar band just as people were listening to indie guitar music again."

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
When you name your band after the bike gang led by Marlon Brando in 1953's clinic-in-cool The Wild One, what you see is what you get: leather jackets, smokes, unruly 'dos. But San Francisco's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club did more than just look the part as their debut B.R.M.C. hit shelves in the US before the Strokes' galvanizing Is This It and the White Stripes' breakthrough White Blood Cells, putting them at the very front of the garage rock revival. But unlike a lot of their peers at the time, BRMC played to darker sensibilities, jocking the Jesus and Mary Chain a full two years before Sofia Coppola effectively brought them back to life. All shadows and depressive cool, B.R.M.C. is the kind of record that makes young people want to start a band, and it wasn't long before imitators both subpar (the Datsuns) and clownish (Jet, Louis XIV) followed in its wake. Unfortunately it meant that BRMC's legacy would remain somewhat unfairly tarnished, even though subsequent efforts, like their solid 2003 sophomore album, Take Them On, On Your Own, proved to be worthy of time and attention. Yet as with so many other rock revivalists of their stripe, BRMC fell prey to easy trappings of blooze-rawk (Howl) and abstract instrumentals (The Effects of 333). After their sixth studio release in 2013, the band are currently at work on a live album and accompanying DVD.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
There was a time, believe it or not, when Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were positioned to become indie rock's (umpteenth) last saving grace. Unlike a lot of the other bands lumped in with the early '00s rock resurgence, CYHSY had both the great benefit -- and later, the great misfortune -- of showing up at the tail end of it. By 2005, music blogs were popping up all over the web like so many Gremlins off the back of a wet Mogwai, which meant that, for a very short time, cream was rising to the top before too many smaller sites completely saturated the market and bigger names like Pitchfork and Stereogum became full-fledged institutions. CYHSY's jaunty, irreverent debut got a huge boost from sites big and small, whereas similar bands before them had to go about it the old fashion way to build a buzz (see: French Kicks, below). In what seemed like minutes, the Philadelphia five-piece went from self-releasing their own album to being the saviors of not just a genre, but of a whole new business strategy, with the likes of Byrne and Bowie watching from the wings. This likely didn't set well with Alec Ounsworth, the band's notoriously shy frontman, and when CYHSY began to show disinterest in being poster children for the blogosphere, the media all but abandoned them. "Online opinion is like a magnifying glass in sunlight: Whatever it admires too closely for too long is enlarged, then incinerated," wrote Pitchfork's Brian Howe. "There was truth in the emerging narrative, but it reflected longing more than reality; the band's story became the stuff of myth, and myths beg to be debunked." The band's subsequent output was slow but steady, but roundly dismissed by critics as not being strong as the debut. In 2014, they dropped their self-released fourth album, Only Run, to crickets.

French Kicks
From the start, it was unlikely that New York's French Kicks were ever destined to become the next big thing. Their rhythmic brand of indie rock was immediately likable and often compelling, and continued to be so over the course of four good-to-great albums. French Kicks' career more closely modeled that of other bands that didn't have the luxury of being swept up in a definitive scene. "We did a lot of... y'know, build the old fashioned way," vocalist and drummer Nick Stumpf explains on the phone from Los Angeles. "The first time we went out, we booked it all ourselves. We played to nobody. We used to talk about the ratio of hours driven to number of people watching. It was frequently 1:1." Though French Kicks never officially called it quits after 2008's Swimming, there aren't any current plans for new music. Stumpf has turned his focus to mixing and producing, working with the likes of New York's Caveman and Toronto upstarts Weaves. He also did work on the score for the art forgery documentary Art and Craft, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award. "I get to sort of bug out on my own, which I enjoy. And just play with sound in sort of a more solitary and home-based way, which I think is a different thing than being in a band," he says. "But it's not like a 'thank god I'm not doing that and I am doing this.' It's more like, 'that's great fun, and now let's try something else.'" Stumpf would be open to another French Kicks album if everything fell into place (the band are all still close with one another), but he's still happy with what his band was able to accomplish in their time together. "There's a lot of really interesting stuff, and to an extent, a kind of music that not that many people would know about -- not that many people would be exposed to or into -- is now... a lot more people do know about it. A band like Animal Collective or something, now a lot of people hear that music and like that music, and 15 years ago it would've been considered a relatively art house, fringe thing. So I'm proud to the point where if we contributed to any of that, I think that's cool."

Hot Hot Heat
In 2001, the garage rock revival was still going strong, but it didn't mean that things weren't heading in a different direction. With the world reeling from 9/11, a lot of the brashness and carefree cool was sucked out of the room, and a strong contingent of bands tried to hone in on those collective feelings of disbelief and grief that hung over the city. Though the songs had been written before the attacks, Interpol's debut album Turn On the Bright Lights is, for the post post-punk generation, the definitive snapshot of post-9/11 disquietude. But on the other end of the spectrum were young artists who saw the importance of re-establishing normalcy, which meant fun, which meant dancing, which meant drugs and friends and staying out all night. In New York, bands like !!! and The Rapture were already laying the groundwork for the wealth of dance-punk acts to follow, but it was Canada's Hot Hot Heat -- with their dancefloor-ready, pop-friendly first album Make Up the Breakdown in 2002 -- that made the biggest impression. Singles like "Bandages" and "Talk to Me, Dance With Me" wiggled their way onto modern rock radio playlists, and got the attention of major labels. That all lead to what should have been the band's mainstream breakthrough, Elevator, which was released on Sire in 2005. Despite a general lack of sharp, catchy songwriting that really made Breakdown pop, it managed to reach 34 on the Billboard 200. Six years to the day after the World Trade Center buildings fell, the band released their third album (and last on a major label) to very little fanfare, followed by a fourth on an indie in 2010. In 2013, Hot Hot Heat released the forgettable track "Mayor of the City," which may or may not have been inspired by Rob Ford.

In a weird way, "New Rave" actually kind of did happen, but not in the way that Klaxons probably ever envisioned it would. Though they brushed off the term and the NME practically drove it into the ground (they even went so far as to book the band to headline their "Indie Rave" tour), these three glowstick-toting, neon-friendly London kids helped predict trends that came to dominate musical youth culture, albeit a half-decade too soon. When their debut album Myths of the Near Future was released in 2007, the influence of dance music on indie rock wasn't anything new, but Klaxons seemed destined to take it to newer, weirder heights. Though much of Myths bears more of a resemblance to the great Madchester scene of the late 1980s and early 90s, it felt like a breath of fresh air, a welcome respite from the depressive, "angular" guitar music in fashion at the time. A so-so second album and last year's ignored Love Frequency pretty much killed the band's momentum, but Myths still holds up surprisingly well, despite the fact that 90% of today's molly-crushing, dayglo-drenched teens wouldn't give it a second pass.

Maxïmo Park
In the music world, "middle-of-the-road" is usually used in the pejorative sense, and often with good reason. But for a select number of bands that appeal to less challenging tastes, the resulting longevity and dedicated fan bases are far more important than a certain kind of critical prestige. For pop-centric British new wavers Maxïmo Park, crowd-leasing is an almost inborn value. "I think we've tried to evolve from album to album with some of the leaps in sound or style being more subtle than others," says frontman Paul Smith. "Since we all have the opportunity to make different kinds of music outside of the band, we've focused on retaining a pop core to our songwriting since that's one of the components that define us as a collective -- we all love a catchy melody and the opportunity to fill a song with hooks." This kind of attitude has kept Maxïmo Park afloat longer than many would have expected, with the band itself functioning as a comfy home base from which more varied musical exercises can spring from. At the end of last year, Smith released Frozen By Sight, a collaboration with Peter Brewis of Field Music based on Smith's travel diaries, while guitarist Duncan Lloyd has ventured out with a more ruminative solo EP titled Icelander. But it's Maxïmo Park's almost rigid consistency that has carried them -- their fourth album, 2012's The National Health, peaked at 13 on the UK Albums Chart. Their most recent effort, Too Much Information, was a more intimate excursion, and found the band trying new things, like linking up with Jessie Ware producer Dave Okumu. "Although we write pop songs, our music is unusual by mainstream standards so without a little leg-up our audience might never have had exposure to our records," says Smith. "By the same token, many people might not listen to our band now (who I think might like our music) because of the association with lots of dull, mediocre bands, so that's the downside." But the benefits seem to be outweighing the costs, as the band are planning to start writing a new album in their Newcastle studio as soon as possible.

Test Icicles
It's hard to believe that out of all the artists mentioned here, the greatest success story comes from the long-defunct UK trio Test Icicles. The band only recorded one album --  the grating, bratty For Screening Purposes Only -- which ranks as one of the most forgettable punk-funk entries of the era. But Test Icicles were young, and it showed. "I always remember interviews where they'd ask me and Sam [Mehran] what we were listening to and we would say Korn, and people would think we were joking, but we were 18 and I didn't understand what was funny," member Devonté Hynes told the Guardian in 2011. "They'd say, 'Of course, you were listening to Gang Of Four' and we'd be like, 'Who are Gang Of Four?'" Sam Mehran and Rory Atwell went onto form bands that you likely have never heard of, but Hynes --  who recorded more mellow, introspective music as Lightspeed Champion, and is now probably best known for his forward-thinking R&B project Blood Orange -- is now one of today's most sought-after songwriters and collaborators. From writing songs for the likes of Solange and Florence and the Machine, Hynes has gone on to work with everyone from Britney Spears to Sky Ferreira to Sampha to James Franco (he did the score for the actor/director's 2013 film Palo Alto). Blood Orange's excellent 2013 album Cupid Deluxe was heartily praised by critics, with Rolling Stone calling Hynes "a triple threat, a total original and a force to be reckoned  with."

The Vines
In a lot of ways, the Vines were much more self-aware than most people gave them credit for. Granted, it's kind of hard when your band is fronted by a guy like Craig Nicholls, the perma-baked, shag-headed muppet who seemed more interested in bong hits and Big Macs than becoming an actual rockstar. But it's very possible that Australia's Vines, unlike other competing "the" bands (see: Hives), saw their moment as one that was already cresting. Instead of trying to grab at "world's best garage rock band" straws, the Vines found their niche in diversity, harping on Beatle-esque psychedelia (rightly written-off a prefab stoner bait) and mainstream grunge (the still-awesome single "Get Free" was a certifiable hit) for their 2002 debut Highly Evolved. It clearly worked, for at least for a little while -- in 2002, the band covered Rolling Stone, with the words ROCK IS BACK! plastered across their image. Despite the insistence of the British press, the Vines were never going to be the next Nirvana (never mind how catchy rippers like "Ride" were), though they certainly could have played to that strength by keeping the amps cranked. But between Nicholls' increasingly erratic behavior onstage and off (he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in 2004) and a sophomore album that too closely resembled their previous effort, the Vines lost traction as quickly as they gained it. Despite suffering multiple lineup changes and resigning themselves to a more tasteful, tamer sound, they released their sixth album Wicked Nature last year, though it failed to drum up any real critical or commercial support (it debuted at 29 in their home country). It's rumored that Nicholls is currently at work on a solo album.

Franz Ferdinand
It's no wonder that the poppiest band on this list was also one of the most popular of the era. Despite the debonaire post-punk posing and art rock aspirations, Glasgow's Franz Ferdinand were always a dance band at heart, and a pretty damn good one at that. This much was evident from the get-go with tracks like the campy "Shopping for Blood" and the jittery titular single from their Darts of Pleasure EP, which Domino hastily scooped up in 2003. What followed was the hugely successful Franz Ferdinand the next year, which was both a critical and commercial success on both sides of the pond (it would eventually go platinum four times over), thanks in no small part to the starry-eyed disco of the eternal "Take Me Out." After taking home the Mercury Music Prize for their debut, two more albums followed, both more varied than Franz Ferdinand but forgettably "more mature." But as a live act, their rep remained unsurprisingly intact, becoming a festival circuit fixture and pumping out a few memorable singles ("No You Girls" and "Do You Want To" chiefly among them) along the way. 2013's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action proved to be their least successful LP, but the band stays busy touring (and most recently curating a Late Night Tales mixtape). A fifth album is rumored to be in the works.

Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne Got Into a Physical Fight Over Rihanna

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 3.11.31 PM.png
In what reads like brain-breaking fashion fan-fiction that was baked in an Easy-Bake Tumblr Oven for 30 minutes at Yaasss Queen degrees, Page Six reports that Cara Delevingne and Naomi Campbell got into a shoving, hair-pulling fight at Paris Fashion Week over Rihanna's honor. 

The two supposedly tussled at a Garage magazine party Sunday night, shoving each other, with Delevingne boldly attempting to pull Campbell's weave off, which we all know is equivalent to dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight. 

According to one witness, Campbell accused Delevingne of "disrespecting Rihanna" before the altercation got physical. Another witness says there was no scuffle, and Campbell was just randomly shouting nonsense at Delevingne. This morning, Campbell tweeted that the whole story is untrue.

The truth likely lies somewhere within the middle and how, or why, Delevigne disrespected Queen Rih could remain a mystery of the ages. Did she fail to exclaim enthusiastically enough over a photo of Majesty? Did she tell her this grill was too understated? The only thing we're certain of: If this screen-grab of Page Six's knee-weakening, iconic pull quote isn't tattooed on someone by the end of the week, we will have all lost.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.00.13 PM.png


"I Couldn't Believe He Had Never Heard Daft Punk": A-Trak Annotates Kanye Songs on Genius

a-trak and kanye.jpgLately, producers and artists alike are using the site Genius to reveal the story behind some of music's biggest hits. Last month, Def Jam co-founder and legendary producer Rick Rubin joined the party and today A-Trak followed suit. The DJ, who was hired as Kanye West's tour DJ from 2004-2008, revealed the play-by-play of his collaborations of three of the rapper's biggest tunes: "Stronger," "Gold Digger," and "RoboCop." Here are some highlights from the Genius annotations:

On "Gold Digger" featuring Jamie Foxx:

We got back together to play the Sasquatch Festival. He said, "Let me play you something. I put my vocals on all these songs." For "Gold Digger," he had this rough version, but it felt too pop to him. He wanted to give it some hip-hop cred. I had an idea for a scratch, for the part where he raps "Get down girl, go 'head, get down." I knew which sample to use.

Next thing you know, it's show time at Sasquatch. At the last minute, he gave me the track for "Gold Digger," because he wanted to perform it. I ended up live-auditioning. I pulled up the sample for "get down" and I scratched during the choruses, and as soon as we got off stage he was like "Alright, you're coming to LA, we gotta record this. I'll pay for the flights, I don't care." I went to L.A. and recorded the scratches, and the rest is history.

On "Stronger":

"Stronger" I gave him that sample. I'm the culprit. And I didn't want him to sample it, that's what's funny.

It sort of happened because Swizz Beats sampled "Technologic" for that Busta Rhymes record, "Touch It." We were on tour in Europe in 2006, spending a lot of hours on the bus listening to the radio. Kanye heard "Touch It" and thought that beat was cool. I said, "He just swooped up Daft Punk." And Ye said, "Who?" I just couldn't believe that Kanye had never heard Daft Punk.
He sent me the instrumental for what became "Stronger." He made the beat and spent months writing and rewriting his verses. At the end, he decided he wanted me to scratch on it...so I have a small four-bar scratch solo towards the end, which you can barely hear. I put a phaser on my scratch to make it wash with the synths a certain way. It barely sounds like a scratch, which was the intention.

On "RoboCop":

Something wasn't quite right with "RoboCop," he thought. The beat was constant the whole way through, and he wasn't sure about that. He was listening to TV on the Radio, and had become friends with one of the guys in the band. He said something like, "How would someone in one of those bands arrange this song? I'm producing it too much like a rap beat." I said, "Why don't we take the drums out for a whole section and let the strings live? Let's forget about hip-hop production tropes or whatever."

He just wanted to try more stuff. Even once we took out the drums entirely for the second verse, he still wanted to try new things. "What if we did this? What if we did that?"...When you're working with Kanye, you feel like you're a part of this greater mission. So I worked on "Robocop."

Watch RiFF RAFF Sell Used Cars with Mike WiLL Made-It


Should RiFF Raff start selling used cars on the side under the name "Sharky McStevenson?" After watching this insane video for Mike WiLL Made-It's "Choppin Blades," a track from WiLL's cameo-filled Ransom mixtape featuring RiFF Raff and Rae Sremmurd's Slim Jxmmi, we think it's a role that fits him well. We'd absolutely let Sharky talk us out of a Pontiac and into a 2014 Mercedes. (Even Wacka Flocka, who makes a cameo in the video, seems to be a satisfied customer.) Watch above as RiFF RAFF, WiLL and Jxmmi wheel and deal at Big Hanks car lot and generally cause mayhem.

Watch A Pre-College Dropout Kanye Perform An Early Version of "Gold Digger" With John Legend


Kanye West has come along way. Before we even address the music, the proof of his journey is in his outfit in this glorious clip from 2003. Prior to The College Dropout Kanye was a backpack rapper with a literal backpack. He also had a snapback, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup t-shirt and a fugly pair of camo cargo pants. Called "18 Years" at the time, the early version of "Gold Digger" that he performed at the second annual Dynamic Producer Conference is equally rough. Coincidentally, EDM DJ A-Trak recently took to Genius and provided some insight into the song. We have him to thank, in part, for the re-vamped version of "Gold Digger" sans John Legend. Watch Kanye circa the early-aughts in this recently unearthed clip, above. We've all come a long way since 2003, congrats everyone.

Read More: Kimye's New York Fashion Week Style Evolution

This Is Why the Gold Apple Watch Costs $10,000


Much has been written about Apple's new watch since it was unveiled on Monday, but it's still unclear as to why, exactly, the 18K gold variation costs an absurd $10,000. Until now.

Kanye Releases "Awesome," His Ode to Kim Kardashian

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.32.02 AM.png

Valentine's Day might have been a month ago but Kanye just dropped a new love song to his wife. "Awesome," which originally made its debut when 'Ye performed it at the Met Ball back in 2013, opens with the rapper's heavily Auto-Tune-laced voice singing, "You don't need to ever write / I read your last message at least a thousand times" and it just gets cuter from there -- even if the chorus sounds like it was meant to be sung by a late '90s, B-list boy band ("baby, you're awesome"). And, before you wonder what kind of Margiela-clad alien has taken over Kanye's brain to make him so sentimental, rest assured: this song doesn't forget that as much as it's about Kim, it's also about Kanye. The money line is, "I'm awesome also. I'm also awesome also." Yes, you are also awesome also, Kanye.

No word yet on whether this'll appear on his upcoming album, So Help Me God.

Emoji Sirens: A Rihanna Documentary is Coming


Our foremost bad gal is finally getting the royal documentary treatment she deserves. Deadline reports that filmmaker Peter Berg will produce a feature length documentary that focuses on Rihanna's ascent from milquetoast pop singer to full-on superstar. The film is said to be an "unfiltered" look at Rihanna's life in the style of the 1967 Bob Dylan documentary, Dont Look Back. Unlike Justin Bieber's Never Say Never or Katy Perry's Part of Me, Berg told Deadline that the Rihanna doc will be "much more a character study than a music film." (If Berg needs any consulting, we've already done some thorough research.) This will be one of the first projects out from Peter Berg's new production company, Film 45. Hopefully a brooding Drake documentary is up next.

[via Deadline]

Read More:
Our A-Z Guide to Rihanna
The Rih Tree: A Guide to Rihanna's Inner Circle
Rihanna and Weed: An Instagram Love Story